Leicester City defender says winning league was 'pure happiness'
Fuchs published video of players' wild celebrations on Twitter
Eden Hazard’s late equalizer for Chelsea against Tottenham may have secured Leicester City its maiden Premier League title Monday but it was the celebrations of a group of young men in a kitchen some 90 miles away that dominated the sports pages and news broadcasts the next day.
Leicester City players had gathered at the house of star striker Jamie Vardy to watch the game rivals Tottenham had to win to keep its title hopes alive.
Naturally, they celebrated wildly when the final whistle at Stamford Bridge confirmed a 2-2 draw and ensured the club was champions of England for the first time in its 132-year history.
Read: Title win could net Leicester $220 million
The moment was captured on the phone of Leicester defender Christian Fuchs and posted to Twitter shortly after. At the time of publishing, the video has been retweeted 220,000 times and favorited 180,000 times.
“I think that’s something that’s simply Leicester,” Fuchs told CNN of the unbridled joy and togetherness he captured.
Read: 7 reasons Leicester won the EPL
“It was a big relief first of all because of course you are looking to finally get there, to finally achieve the championship. Then it was just you screamed everything out.
“It was just pure happiness. It’s hard to be put in words to be honest. I’ve never experienced that in my life so far but it was a nice feeling.”
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Leicester’s stunning achievement confounded football pundits and bookmakers who had priced them at seemingly-impossible odds of 5000-1 to win the league at the start of the season.
To put that figure into some sort of perspective, some bookmakers are offering significantly shorter odds on Kim Kardashian winning the U.S. presidential election in 2020.
How Leicester beat the best
In the bookies’ defense, Leicester was a team that only just avoided relegation in 2015 and was assembled at a fraction of the cost of more illustrious rivals like Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City.
Yet Fuchs said the low expectations and lack of belief in the team’s ability outside of the dressing room never punctured the players’ confidence.
The input and sense of humor of Leicester’s inspirational Italian manager, Claudio Ranieri, also ensured feet remained firmly planted on the ground when it finally seemed that Leicester could achieve the unthinkable.
“We don’t think about what people wrote,” Fuchs revealed. “We never thought like that. We just focus on our game, on our strength. We kept everything inside, we didn’t listen to what the media said outside or what people were talking.
“What we can do is to affect our performance. That’s what Ranieri always told us. To think from game to game. To think about us only. Because that’s what we can affect no matter how the others play.
“If we bring a good performance we are likely to win this season and it worked out really well,” he said.
Having got the better of England’s finest and most expensively-assembled teams, Leicester will now take on the best Europe has to offer in next season’s Champions League.
And that exciting challenge looms large on the horizon for Fuchs and his teammates.
“That’s another story,” he said. “For a lot of us it’s the first time that we play in the Champions League.
“It’s going to be quite a challenge but I believe with all the spirit, with all the togetherness that we have here that we can also play good games there.
“Let’s see. Right now I have to tell you I’m not thinking that far at all. I’m just happy to celebrate a little bit that all the pressure has gone.
“Just to lift the trophy on Saturday and to finally realize it that we are the champions.”